Why is CUSD important to you?
CUSD gives you a lot of opportunities to actually learn new things and use the skills you learned in class. Even when I first joined CUSD my freshmen year, I was starting to build things right from there. I worked with people who have done cool things in the past, like the previous Technical Operations lead, Nikita, who was working at Apple. He showed me things you don’t typically learn in the classroom.
CUSD also gave me the opportunity to network with various people. Working on CUSD, you get access to people who aren’t in your major, and that’s not something you normally get in other organizations. In terms of working with other vertical teams, you get to work with real clients — we don’t usually get exposure to working with clients in most other classes. It gives you a worldly view where you can simulate how real life really is and how you’ll be working in the future.
What made you decide to join CUSD and what does it mean to you now?
I actually knew I wanted to be part of Technical Operations with Nikita. I was first drawn to CUSD from visiting the CUSD website. I thought the design of the website was really cool and made me wonder how I could make websites like that. I actually found a bug on the website which I showed Nikita at the CUSD information session.
But overall, I just enjoyed having the opportunity to surround myself with other like-minded, more experienced individuals who could help me further my skills.
What does sustainability mean to you?
From a tech standpoint, sustainability focuses on efficiency in general, whether it is an algorithm or any resources you use. It can even mean how you chose to manage a team. Essentially, it means optimizing your solution. I can chose to put my best designers on design jobs versus on something else, which maximizes efficiency and optimizes my results. And if I know that someone has a certain skill or know a certain language well, I’ll put them on related tasks that correspond to those skills. Sustainability is about understanding your team and optimization in general leads you to the best product and the best solution in the end.
How has CUSD impacted you academically & career-wise?
It boosted my GPA — haha just kidding :)
CUSD has helped me learn to implement the skills I learned in the classroom, and reinforced what I learned. The reason why I’m so good at what I do today is because I’ve done it a lot in CUSD. CUSD gave me a venue to actually apply everything which you don’t normally get in most classes. Especially when you do a project that you really really care about, there is definitely more motivation there. Within CUSD, you end up learning a lot more and end up doing something you really care about.
How has CUSD impacted you in your daily lives?
To a degree, CUSD is quite social. You do get to know other people in CUSD. Especially working on a horizontal team, you’re not just interacting with people on your team. For example, we interact with Marketing and Communications all the time.And we also grab dinners at Mehak.
It’s the habitual identification and mutual understanding of “hey we’re all on CUSD”.
What is one of your fondest memories or interactions within CUSD?
A year ago, we were organizing a fundraiser for Sustainable Education Ghana (SEG), called Bridging the Gap between Cornell and Ghana at Milstein Hall. Mind, the previous Marketing and Communications director wanted me to create a word visualization where people who sign in will say how CUSD has impacted them: the data will be taken and it will be visualized onto the screen. So I learned on my own to set that up. It was really fun dealing with different and new technology and doing the live visualization.
When I came to set up, no one coordinated how we were going to set up the technology. So beginning of the event consisted of me running around setting up the screens because no one could figure out how they worked. It was nice running around and feeling important, trying to fix everything. It was nice to feel that you’re valued even though you’re just a little kid.
What is one of your proudest projects on CUSD?
My proudest project would be the alumni database Techops has been creating last semester and this semester. Giving my stance now that I’m a junior and applying to jobs and such, it’s really nice to have those CUSD alumni to reach out to and be like: “hey what do you think of this company” or “how do you think I should talk to this company.” It’s really nice because we’re all students and given that some of them are recent grads, we’ve all been in the same spot at some point. People really aren’t like “don’t talk to me”. They’re all open to talking and helping out each other.
Let me first give some insights into the alumni database. We have all these alumni graduating from CUSD, with at least 20 per year. We often just lose them. A lot of these people go off doing all kinds of cool things and work at all kinds of amazing companies. Previous, there wasno way to have a list or record about them and about what they did within CUSD and what they do now career-wise. We would have never been able to see who the stars of CUSD were.
The alumni database is about finding the people who can help us now and keeping track of what they do in the future. It’s pretty cool to see the awesome things the alumni are doing now and the interesting projects that they are working on.
There are some backend things that changed in terms of how our alumni database works since there are always new technology that has recently come out that I really want to try and use. The front-end design aspects are pretty much done so it’s just that back-end wiring. I want to get that done and shipped by the end of the semester!